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Патент USA US2106022

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Jan. 18, 1938.
Filed May 23, 1935
6 Sheets-Sheet 1
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Jan. 18, 1938.
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Filed May 23, 1935
6 Sheets-Sheet 2
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Jan. 18, 1938.
Filed May 23, 1935
6 Sheets—Sheet 4
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Jan. 18, 1938.
Filed May 23, 1935
6 Sheets-Sheet 5
Jan. 18, 1938.
Filed May 23, 1935
6 Sheets-Sheet 6
Patented Jan. 18, 1938
Gilbert E. Seil, Cynwyd, Pa.
Application May 23, 1935, Serial No. 22,963
23 Claims. (Cl. 13-9)
This invention relates to electric furnaces more desired this support bearing must be of such a
especially to that type thereof which has hollow design as to permit either intermittent or con
electrodes through which is fed a quantity of
material to be treated in the furnace. In par
ticular, this invention pertains to an electric fur
nace devised with the aim to carry out economi
cally the processes covered by the following pat
ents:—Wiles 1,837,696; Wiles 1,912,560; Wiles
1,934,634; Wiles 1,946,252; Scott 1,896,789; Scott
1,904,761 and the following patent applications:
Wiles Serial No. 703,320 and Seil Serial No.
724,024, as well as Seil co-pending patent ap
plications Serial Nos. 59,690, 59,691 and 59,692.
The processes to which this type of furnace are
particularly adapted are those wherein many re
actions favored by high temperatures can be
more effectively produced because of the fact that
the passing of small masses of reacting materials
through the extremely high temperature zones
within the hollow electrode permits practical'use
of these desirable high temperatures. A variety
of uses for this furnace have been found in which
useful advantage is taken not only of the abnor
mally high temperatures but of the con?nement
characteristic of the hollow electrode and of its
combination duplexing functions of smelting
within the electrode with subsequent re?nement
on the hearth.
As the essential uses to which this type of fur
HO nace has been put require the movement of solid
and liquid materials through the approximately
horizontal hollow electrode there must obviously
be produced a certain amount of internal erosion
on the lower part of the electrodes orifice. There
:3 in is a further loss from the internal bore due to
chemical reaction between dissolved oxides in
metal and the graphite of the electrode. It was
found that while this erosion was often very slight
under certain conditions it was nevertheless ac
cumulative and would ultimately result in an
uneven arcing end on the electrode which in turn
interfered with the uniformity of the furnace
The correction of this uneven wear can be ac
complished by intermittent rotating of the elec
trode by manual force but preferably by continu
ous rotation by mechanical force. The relative
value of these two methods depends upon the
rate at which erosion develops and upon the ?rst
cost factors involved.
The use of substantially horizontal electrodes
requires a device which holds and supports the
electrode and moves it back and forth to regulate
the arc gap and the resulting current input of
the furnace. Where rotation of the electrode is
tinuous rotation of the electrode and in this char
acteristic the rotating horizontal hollow electrode
support differs from the supports heretofore used 5
for solid horizontal electrodes where service con
ditions developed no need for rotation.
As it is necessary to make occasional adjust
ments between the bearing support and the elec
trode to compensate for wear of the electrode and 10
as it is also necessary occasionally to remove an
electrode the bearing support must allow for both
of these operations.
The process of the above mentioned Seil patent
applications may be brie?y described as compris- l5
ing forming a molten bath of metal on the furnace
hearth, the metal of which is to be re?ned by
having removed therefrom undesirable elements.
This re?ning is effected by causing to pass through
the slag on the molten metal, a molten oxidizing 2o
reagent which reacts with the undesirable element
in the molten bath to oxidize it and thereby re
move it from the bath as a gas if the oxidized
impurity is gaseous, or via the slag if the oxidized
impurity is not gaseous.
One feature of that 25
process is that the molten reagent is formed
in one or more hollow electrodes extending into
the furnace from the comminuted and mixed ma
terials being fed to and through the bore of the
hollow electrode in the form of cores or cartridges. 30
So a prime object of this invention is the en
visaging of a hollow electrode furnace with auxil
iary and accessory instrumentalities, all co-acting
to contribute to the effective realization of the
formation in the electrode of the oxidizing re- 35
agent comprising a metal carrying a metal oxide
and of the supplying of the reagent to the furnace
burden by virtue of which the desired product is
obtainable. Another prime object of the inven
tion contemplates the devising of such a furnace 4“
having arrangements for lessening, if not avoid
ing, localized external erosion on the furnace-end
of the electrodes and internal erosion in the bore
of the electrodes by the rotation thereof; for
cooling the electrodes; for dependably feeding the 45
cores of the reactable materials to and through
the hollow electrodes; and for providing a bridg
ing connection through which the cores can be
fed from a reservoir thereof to the hollow elec
trode of the furnace.
Generally, the invention may be exemplified
in an electric furnace having a pair of co-acting
hollow electrodes with electrical connections for
effecting an are between the adjacent and sub
stantially abutting ends of electrodes. Each elec- 55
trode is mounted on a carriage with means (pref
erably automatic) for reciprocating the carriage
toward and away from the furnace whereby the
spacing apart of the arcing ends of the electrodes
and consequently the power input to the furnace
may be controlled. By controlling the power in
put, the temperature attained by the electrode
burden in the region of the arc is assured to be
high enough to realize the formation therein of
10 the oxidizing reagent. The carriage for each
electrode is provided with mechanism for rotat
is timed with the movement of the feed conveyor.
altogether effecting a desired rate of speed.
Another feature is to be noted in the simple
coordination of driving and driven parts, in that
the feed conveyor of the present embodiment has
a front and a rear driven shaft which serves in
turn as a power transmitting element in supply
ing other coordinated movements of the mecha
nism such as the rotation of the electrode and
the automatic control of cartridges fed from the 10
magazine device. More speci?cally each axle of
ing its electrode while energized, and with means
the conveyor has a second task of supplying by
for removably and rotatably mounting the elec
its very rotation the movement for one or the
trode on its carriage. Also cooling means are as
other coordinated movement of the mechanism.
sociated with the electrode. Then there is pro
The transmitting of heavy currents (amperes) 15
vided adjacent to the free end of the electrode a through moving contacts is unusual in the elec
reservoir or magazine of or for cores or cartridges
trical industry but it has been found that the
to be fed to the electrode. But since the elec
usual difficulties experienced with arcing of these‘
trode is mounted for simultaneous rotation and gheavy currents was practically eliminated by
reciprocation while the core-reservoir is prefer-"u. cooling the contact surfaces. This cooling has 20
ably ?xed, a telescoping bridging connection is
provided for getting the cores from the reservoir
to the bore of the movable electrode irrespective
of the position of the electrode relative to the
fixed reservoir. For impelling cores over or along
this bridge connection a conveyor mechanism is
provided which is timed to feed cores from the
core-reservoir at just the speed required by the
Broadly the features of this invention are di
rected to mechanical arrangements to cover the
rotatable as well as reciprocable mounting of
the electrodes; an arrangement for supplying,
for feeding, and for timing the feed, of the car
tridges to and into the electrode; an arrange
ment for coordinating all driving, actuating and
moving parts; and a speci?c manner of cooling
the rotating electrodes.
Accordingly, one speci?c feature is exempli?ed
40 in an attachment for removably supporting‘ the
rotatable or rotating electrode, which consists
substantially in a split sleeve rigidly clampable
around a portion of the electrode. This attach
ment is to provide an exterior bearing face to
' fit the electrode for rotary movement, to provide
a face for movable electric contact to supply cur
rent to the electrode, and also to provide a means
for mechanical driving engagement for the ro
tation of the electrode.
Another feature is illustrated in a reciprocable
support or wheeled carriage adapted to move the
electrode to and from the furnace, and having
preferred bearing means for quickly mounting
and dismounting the electrode. More speci?cal
iy, a bearing shell upon the carriage is section
alized to comprise a rigid lower central portion
or sector which lends itself for positioning and
sustaining the electrode body in substantially
horizontal operating position when mounting or
60 dismounting the same. The rigid sector carries
hinged to each side a movable sector or wing, both
together complementary to the first and rigid
sector, arrangeable around a bearing surface of
the electrode body. Suitable quick acting closure
means permit rapid closing, or opening of the
movable sectors of the bearing shell while leav~
ing the electrode body proper in self-sustained
aligned position.
Still another feature involves the
core or
charge feeding device which provides an endless
?exible conveyor arrangement cooperating with
a charging tube which telescopes into the asso
ciated electrode.
A further feature lies in an automatic supply
- or magazine device for the ‘cartridges, and which
the twofold purpose of preventing the heat from
the furnace being conducted through the elec
trode to the contacting surfaces or areas and
the simultaneous carrying away of any heat gen
erated because of resistance at the moving con 25
tact areas. This latter cooling is valso accom
plished by having a large mass of heat conduct
ing metal in contact with these areas or zones of
any hollow electrode. As the heat conducted by
the electrode from the furnace is of greater mag 30
nitude than that generated at the contact areas,
a feature of this invention is to place a cooling
device between the contact areas and the furnace.
More speci?cally, however, the cooling collar
of my present design has circumferentially ar 35
ranged scoops which are consecutively charged
with, and discharge, a. cooling liquid. Also the
collar may comprise a mass of subdivided but
coherent, or porous material which offers a large
wetting surface for the cooling medium ‘or liquid. 40
As it is desired to have the electrode rotate
while remaining energized it is necessary to have
a. moving current, transmitting contact between
the rotating electrode and some ?xed part of the
electric circuit. This may be accomplished in
many ways. -
But in my preferred arrangement of the ele
ments of this invention a pair of longitudinal
members or rails serve as the basic support for
the entire electrode actuating and feeding mech
anism, the rail gauge being adapted to accom
modate the electrode carriage in view of its recip
rocating movement thereon. The rotation of the
electrodes during operation is effective in dis
couraging uneven wear or erosion at the arcing 55
end of the hollow electrode.
Certain parts of
the arrangement are current conducting, others
arranged to be dead to the current which must
be supplied to the electrode for arcing. Prefer
ably the supporting base men'lbers are left free 60
from current, and so are the feed conveyors and
the supply magazine, the current being prevented
from reaching the magazine through the charge
of cartridges, all in a manner hereinafter more
clearly described.
The invention possesses other objects and fea—
tures of advantage, some of which with the fore»
going will be set forth in the following descrip
tion. In the following description and in the
claims, partswill be identified by speci?c names 70
for convenience, but they are intended to be as
generic in their application to similar parts as
the art will permit. In the accompanying draw
ings there has been illustrated the best embodi
ment of the invention known to me, but such 75
embodiment is to be regarded as typical only
of ‘many possible embodiments, and the inven
tion is not to be limited thereto.
Fig. 1 is a side view of the general arrange
ment of a furnace chamber equipped with a sym
metrical arrangement of diametrically opposed
mechanically operated electrodes.
Fig. 2 is a detail sideview of the electrode op
erating mechanism and the core feeding device
10 associated therewith.
Fig. 3 is a top view upon Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is an enlarged side view of the auto
matic core feeding mechanism.
Fig. 5 is an enlarged rear end view of the auto
16 matic' core feeding mechanism.
comprises a frame 22 carried by pairs of front
and rear wheels 33 and 34 to operate upon the
top ?ange of the channel irons or tracks 24.
The carriage frame has mounted thereon a stand
ard or bracket 31 upon which is fastened by
means of screw bolts 38 a longitudinal bearing 39
for supporting therein the electrode ||. A plate
of insulating material 40 is‘ shown to be inter
posed between the standard 31 and the bearing
39. The electrode is rotatably mounted in the 10
reciprocatable bearing through the intermediary
of a longitudinally split or composite two piece
sleeve 4| ?ttedv around the electrode and clamped
thereto by means of clamping straps 42, 43 and
44 respectively, spaced along the sleeve 4|. A 15
Fig. 6 is a perspective detail view of an auto
matically timed gate for feeding the cores.
Fig. 'l is an enlarged detail view of the elec
cage including antifriction rollers 440 may sur
round the sleeve 4|. The sleeve 4| is also pro
vided with a current collector .or moving contact
trode carriage and parts movable therewith.
ring 45 located between the straps 42 and 43, to
receive a supply of electric current for energizing 20
the electrode through contact brushes generally
Fig. 8 is an end view upon the electrode car
riage of Fig. 7.
Fig. 9 is a cross-sectional view upon the cooling
jacket for the electrode.
The furnace designed to carry out a metal
25 lurgical process such as outlined above, is shown
in Fig. l to comprise a furnace chamber l0, a pair
of tubular open ended electrodes or electrode
bodies H and I2 shown to be symmetrically ar
ranged and to extend through opposite sides of
the furnace chamber into the interior thereof.
The furnace chamber may consist of a suitable
refractory material |3 inside of a metal casing
H which may be supported on suitable base mem
bers l5 and I6.
Inside the furnace chamber there can be
discerned a hearth ll arranged to receive a
metallic bath l8 covered by a layer of slag Wu,
and also molten or lique?ed reagent material l9
?owing or dripping down upon the bath, from
40 the inner ends of the bore of the electrodes II
and |2 and through the gap 2|] spanned by the
electric arc 2|.
A supporting, actuating, and charging mech
anism for each of the electrodes | I and I2 is here
45 shown to be identical for each electrode or side‘
of the symmetrical furnace arrangement.
Each electrode is shown to be longitudinally as
well as rotatably movable while energized and
correspondingly supported by a carriage 22 and
50 23 respectively, pairs of operating tracks or chan
nel irons 24 and 25 respectively, operable to ad
vance the electrodes into or withdraw them from
the furnace chamber I0. Mechanism for rotat
ing the electrodes is indicated at 26 and 21
respectively. The numerals 28 and 29 indicate
in a collective way respective charge feeding de
vices which are stationary and have supports 28a
and 29a respectively, for the purpose of feeding
into the hollow interior or bore of the
60 electrodes the charge or reagents which
nished to the furnace in the preferred
cylindrical cores or cartridges 30. It
are fur
form of
is noted
that each electrode and accordingly its associated
apparatus arrangement is preferably slightly in
clined towards the furnace as indicated by the
drawings, wherein they slope a few degrees from
the horizontal, namely, three degrees in the pre
ferred form, with the inclination being downward
toward the arc ends of the electrodes.
In the following it will suffice to describe one
side or unit of the symmetrical arrangement, for
instance, the electrode II and its associated
mechanism such as substantially shown in Fig. 2.
The supporting carriage for the electrode | | more
75 clearly shown in the enlarged detail of Fig. '7
indicated at 46 movable with the carriage and
having a suitable movable connection with a live
rail or other source of electric energy which may
be located below the ?oor level as indicated 'by 25
a depending contact arm 46a travelling with the
carriage. The outer end of the sleeve 4| has a
?anged portion 41 to which is fastened by means
of screw bolts 48 a gear 49 coaxial with the elec
A cooling device or collar 50 is placed around
the electrode to substantially overcome heat gen
erated by the supplying of electrical current
thereto and is located in an effective zone of the
electrode, such as next to the supporting bearing
39, preferably at the furnace side thereof, which
may comprise a sectionalized arrangement (see
Fig. 9) , of subdivided, porous, or spongy material
such as steel wool 5| assembled in an annular
metal frame 52, there being provided circum
ferential scoop like chambers 52a to receive the
material 5|. A supply of cooling liquid 53 dis
perses into the steel wool and by way of evapora~
tion withdraws heat from the enclosed portion of
the electrode, and thereby also acts as a protec 45
tive barrier against the heat which tends to
spread from the electric are inside the furnace
through the electrode towards the outer end and
the supporting members thereof. Surplus water
dripping from the cooling collar 50 and from the 50
steel wool is caught in a pan 54 beneath, which
pan is shown to have supporting straps 55 fas
tened upon the standard 31, and an outlet
spout 56.
The rotatable portion of this assembly, such as 55
the electrode ||, together with the sleeve 4|, the
gear 49, clamping straps 42, 43, and 44 may be
removed as a unit from the supporting bearing or
bearing shell 39 in a manner more clearly un
derstood from the cross-sectional detail view of 60
Fig. 8. The outer shell of the bearing is sec
tionalized into a lower central rigid portion or
section 51 which carries hinged to each side as
at 58 and 59 respectively a complementary shell
sector 60 and BI respectively. When swung into 65
closed position as shown in full lines in Fig. 8 the
sectors 60 and 6| will close around the bearing
sleeve of the electrode and they may be locked in
place by a pair of swivel bolts 62 pivoted at 63 to
the shell sector 6|]. The swivel bolts ?tting into 70
bifurcated lugs 64 of the shell sector 6|, have at
their free ends a tensioning member such as an
eccentric 65 provided with a handle 66. The
open position of the bearing sectors 60 and 6|
is shown in dot and dash lines.
From Fig. 8 it can also be more clearly seen
that each of the straps I2, 43, or 44 consists of
two halves such as 4251 and 42b bolted together
In at 42c and 42d.
uous sequence of cores 30 is caused to enter
through the feed tube 90 into the bore of the
electrode and then into the zone of liquefaction
or other metallurgical phases;
The movement of one or of both electrode car
More specifically, (see Fig. 2) my preferred
riages 22, 23, is preferably automatically con
feeding device as a whole is mounted upon a
trolled in such a manner as to correct and make
frame or base structure 94 having mountings or
legs 84a and comprises an endless conveyor to
up for the shortening of the electrodes due to
combustion from the arc, in order to maintain
constant a predetermined gap or clearance 29
between the arcing points of the electrodes, de
termining the length of the are. This is im
portant for assuring the attainment of the tem
peratures in the electrode necessary for the for
mationof the reagent of my said patent appli
cation Serial No. 724,024, and of my co-pending
patent application Serial No. 59,692, which com
prises a metal having a metal oxide in solution
A corrective longitudinal movement of
26 the electrode may be effected by some known elec
tro-automatie arrangement which needs no spe
cific disclosure but is indicated as by the showing
of a hydraulic or oil cylinder 61 whose plunger
rod 68 is operatively connected with the elec
25 trode carriage as at 69, and which responds to
controlled hydraulic pressure in moving the car
riage at a rate corresponding to the disintegra
tion of the electrode arcing points. So there is
provided means for varying the speed of the
longitudinal movement of the electrode as well
as its rotation.
It is necessary to provide ?exible or movable
driving means for imparting rotary motion to
the electrode ll while the carriage 22 travels.
35 To this end a horizontally arranged splined shaft
T0 extends substantially parallel to the axis of
the electrode and is carried at each end in sta
tionary journals H and ‘12 respectively suitably
mounted upon standards 13 and 14 supported
upon the tracks or channel irons 24.
upon the splined shaft is a pinion '15 made of
electric insulating or non-conducting material
having meshing engagement with the large gear
49 of the electrode. Such meshing engagement
45 is insured by having the pinion T5 con?ned in a
cage '16 which is rigidly connected with the car
riage frame 22 by way of a standard Ti. The
splined shaft is driven through a pair of bevel
gears 78 and 19. While the splined shaft 10
50 could be optionally impelled in some other way
adapted to impart a desired rate of rotation to
the electrode, it is herein preferred to have the
driving means for the splined shaft 70 coupled
or operatively interconnected with the driving
55 means for the charge feeding device 28 presently
to be described and the details of which are more
clearly shown in the Figs. 3, 4, 5 and 6.
This feeding device is designed to feed the
charge material in the form of cores or cartridges
60 3D in sequence and at a certain predetermined
rate into the interior or bore of the electrode.
The device therefore consists essentially of a
feed tube 86 which telescopes into the electrode
and which along its upper side is provided with
65 holes or perforations 80a; an endless conveyor
St to feed the cores into the tube 80 at a desired
rate; and a magazine 82 carrying a supply of
the cores 3!], combined with an automatic device
which is controlled to deal out one by one or a
number of cores to the conveyor at predetermined
intervals in co-ordination with a chosen speed
of the endless conveyor. That is to say a suit
able driving system couples the movement of a
core releasing gate 83 at a ?xed ratio with the
76 rate of progress of the conveyor, so that a contin
charge the cores 30 into the feeding tube 90 con
sists of a pair of endless chains 85 and 86 ar
ranged side by side, each chain running over a
pair of sprockets 81, 88 and 99 and 90 respec
tively. Corresponding parallel sprockets such as
8'! and 89 are fixed upon a shaft 9|, the other
two sprockets 88 and 90 being mounted upon a
shaft 92. The shaft 9| is operatively supported
in a pair of journals 93 and 94, (see Fig. 3) car—
ried upon supporting brackets 93a and 94a fas
tened upon the base frame 84. correspondingly
the other shaft 92 operates in journals 95, 96, 20
carried upon similar supporting brackets 95a and
96a. The journals 93, 94 and 95, 96, respectively,
or their respective supporting brackets are shown
to be insulated against‘. ground as by insulating
plates 91. The chains 85, 88, which are thus 25
arranged to move in unison carry pushing mem
bers 98 in the form of cross-rods extending from
chain to chain at suitable intervals. Each push
ing member or cross-rod 98 has a collar or sleeve
98a made of some suitable non-conductor or in~ 30
_ sulating material (see Fig. 5).
A channel or V-shaped bed 99 is to receive in
dividual charges or cores 30 supplied at suitable
intervals from the magazine 82, and it extends
substantially between and adjacent the upper 1
strand of the endless conveyor chains 85 and 96
and substantially in line with the electrode H .
The V-shaped bed 99 has lugs I00 and [0| by
which it is supported upon standards I 02 and
103 fastened upon the supporting frame 84. The
V-shaped bed 99 furthermore is electrically in
sulated against the standards M2 and 103 as
indicated by the interposed insulating material
H14. Cores 30 placed into charging position upon
the V-shaped bed 99 will be advanced into a re
ceiving collar or inlet member I05 of the feed
tube 80, by the pushing action of the insulated
pushing members 98 as the chains 85 and 86 ro
tate. The inlet member H15 is shown to be ad“
justably held by arms I06 upon the supporting
brackets 93a and 94a and so as to be insulated
against these supports, as indicated at I01. In
this way no current from the electrode or from
the charge therein will reach the elements of
the feed conveyor or of the magazine 82.
Looking at Figs. 3 and 5, suitable means may
be devised to provide driving power to the vari
ous operating sections of the machine. In a
preferred simple embodiment such as herein dis~
closed, movement is imparted from a primary 60
source as through a main driving chain I08 and
a main driving sprocket I09 which latter is
mounted upon the one free end of the conveyor
sprocket shaft 92. The other conveyor sprocket
shaft 9! in eifect constitutes a countershaft to
the shaft 92 and carries at its one free end the
aforementioned large bevel gear 19 through
which it drives the electrode rotating mechanism
or a power transmitting sequence of geared ele
ments T8, 10, 15, 49. In other words the conveyor 70
chains 85 and 86 perform a dual function in the
character of power transmitting as well as charge
conveying feeding elements.
The rotary motion of the other sprocket shaft
92 is furthermore utilized to automatically oper- 75
ate the discharge of cartridges 30 from the maga
to the functioning of one side or one electrode of
zine device 82 onto the endless conveyor 8|.
Therefore, the otherfree end of the sprocket shaft
92 extends far enough so that a small bevel gear
H0 ?xed thereto will be enabled to maintain op
erative or meshing engagement with a larger
bevel gear III which is part of the magazine ac-v
the furnace only.
In order to begin at the beginning it may be
assumed that my novel electrode body is to be
placed into operating position in the furnace.
To this end it may be assumed that the bearing
39 has its pivoted wings or sectors 60 and BI
open and ready to receive the electrode, while
the feed tube 80 as well as the feed inlet collar
tuating and timing mechanism presently to be
The magazine or core dispensing mechanism
of the present embodiment of this invention col
lectively indicated by the numeral 82 comprises
a supply container in the way of an inclined chute
I I2 mounted in some suitable way as by brackets
15 H3 upon a base structure or the like. The con
tainer or chute I I2 is shown to be capable of ac
commodating an array of predetermined size
cartridges 30 which if released may roll down in
a direction transversely of the conveyor chain 86
20 and drop into charging position onto the V
shaped support 99. The discharge from the chute
I I2 occurs periodically and is timed by a star
'wheel H4 (see Fig. 5) in conjunction with the
swivel gate or frame 83. The star-wheel H4 is
25 driven through an endless element or chain H5
I05 may be assumed to be removed so as not to 10
interfere with the placing of the electrode II.
Before the electrode II can be placed into oper
ating position in the furnace assembly it is to be
mounted with the bearing sleeve M by placing
the two halves thereof around the electrode and 15
fastening them by placing and bolting there
around the straps 42, 43 and 44 at the places
shown in Fig. *7. Thereafter the large gear 49
may be bolted to the ?anged portion 41 of the
bearing sleeve 4I. Also the cooling collar 50 is 20
to be slipped into place over and around the elec
trode at the furnace end thereof, wherupon the
electrode thus equipped is ready tobe placed or
seated upon the central sector 51 of the bearing
39 after the furnace end of the electrode has
been introduced through the opening in the wall
running over sprockets I I6, II‘! the latter sprock
et II'I being coaxial with the large bevel gear of the furnace chamber I0. While positioning or
III and rotating therewith, both being ?xed seating the electrode the large gear 49 will come
upon a shaft H8 which is operatively mounted -to mesh with the pinion .15, and the current col
30 in journals H9 and I20, the journals again being lector ring 45 engage with the contact rushes 30
fastened upon bracket members I2I and I22 re
spectively forming part of the general support
ing framework.
Also mounted upon the shaft H8 is a scalloped
35 cam wheel I23 shown in this particular case to
have four identical protruding cam faces I24
alternating with recesses I25. This cam wheel is
adapted to cooperate with a cam roller I26 which
is mounted upon the swivel frame or rocking gate
40 83. The rocking gate 83 is pivoted as at I21 upon
the brackets H3 which holds the core magazine
or chute H2 and it surrounds the lower or run
off portion of the chute H2 as well as the star
wheel H4.
As shown more clearly in the perspective de
tail of Fig. 6 the swivel frame 83 more speci?cally
comprises an axle I28, a pair of arms I29 and
I30 extending fixedly from the axle, and the re
taining blade or gate member I3I proper inter
connecting the free ends of the arms I29, I30.
The arm I29 has a rearward extension I32 which
carries thereon the aforementioned cam roller
I26, and also an adjustable counterweight I33.
The star wheel H4 acts in the way of a sluice
gate permitting only one set of cartridges 30 at
a time to drop onto the conveyor below, each set
of cartridges actually and individually being re
leased only by a momentary upswing of the swivel
frame 83 whenever the cam roller I26 drops and
60 is weighted into one of the recesses I25 of the
cam wheel I23 by the counterweight I33.
It is noted that since the elements of the feed
conveyor are dead with regard to electric cur
rent due to its insulation at various points, no
current will reach the magazine device and its
driving elements. In the operation of the fur
nace and the electrodes respectively just de
scribed it is conceivable aside from the preferred
arrangement shown to have one electrode only
70 equipped as shown with regard to the mechanical
rotatability and/or movability and the feeding of
the charge therethrough, while the other elec
trode might be assumed as stationary and not
necessarily serving as a feed canal. Consequently
75 it will suffice in describing the operation to refer
46. The feed tube 80 is then introduced into the
bore of the electrode and positioned with the
holes 80a pointing upwardly and connected with
the stationary feed mechanism by means of the
feedinlet collar I05. Thereafter the sectors 60
and GI are closed and locked around the elec
trode by manipulating the locking bolts 62 and
the locking handles 66.
The electrode current may now be turned on
while it is assumed that a bath or burden of 40
molten metal I8 has been prepared in the fur
nace chamber and which molten metal is to be
re?ned in the course of operating and charge
feeding the‘ electrode. After the electric cur
rent has been turned on and all parts brought to 45
an_operative temperature, the carriage 22 may
be assumed to have adjusted itself with regard
to arcing gap 20 of the electrodes due to the
automatic response of the carriage controlling
hydraulic cylinder 61 and the plunger rod 68 50
thereof. The main driving chain I08 and
sprocket I09 through the conveyor chains 85 and
86 and the bevel gears 18 and ‘I9, shaft ‘I0 and
pinion 15 start the electrode II rotating at a
suitable rate, while the splined connection be
tween the pinion 15 and the shaft ‘I0 permits of
longitudinal adjustment of the electrode by vir
tue of a corresponding movement of the carriage
22. Rotation of the electrode substantially over
comes erosion tendencies acting both internally
and externally of the electrode. The arcing tends
toward external erosion at the arcing end of the
electrode while internal erosion would other
wise be produced by the passing through the
bore of the electrode of molten charges, espe
cially as these charges constitute metal satu
rated at its molten temperature with metallic
oxides. These oxides in passing through the
carbon electrode which is a reducing material
naturally tend to effect a wearing away of the
carbon, but rotation of the electrode appears to
overcome this tendency.
Rotation of the electrodes offers further far
reaching advantages in that thereby the molten
or fluid constituents effected within the hollow 76
electrodes are kept in well-dispersed condition,
that is, Strati?cation is discouraged. My novel
oxidizing reagent, heretofore referred to, is
effected by forcing into the bore of the electrodes
formed charges such as cores made up of a metal
oxide together with a reducing reagent such as
carbon in a de?cient quantity to insure a reduc
tion of only a portion of the metal oxide to
metal. The cores also contain a corrective suit
10 able for controlling the mass, and particularly
the reduced metal in the electrode long enough to
attain a temperature above the melting point
thereof, but below the melting point of the un
reduced metal oxide, whereby when the molten
15 metal is emitted from the arc end of the elec
trode, it carries with it and indeed is saturated
with unreduced metal oxide (which oxide is be
lieved to be in solution in the metal). The cores
become porous and disintegrate slowly under the
20 in?uence of the heat and as the metal oxide is
reduced to metal (which ?rst appears in the form
of drops thereof), they hold the metal in place
long enough to attain its desired superheat. As
long as the cores are in core form, they exhibit
25 a sponge-like function. Nevertheless, as the
drops of metal form, the drops should be kept
away from the carbon of the electrode and this
is done to some extent by this sponge-like action
of the cores, but rotation of the electrode facili
~ tates this action by causing any drop of metal
which comes into contact with the wall of the
electrode bore to flow back into the core, rather
than to stick to the electrode. The metal which
is usually chromium is the heaviest constituent
of the mass in the electrode and would settle out
so rotation of the electrode prevents this where
otherwise it might react with the carbon of the
electrode, which is hotter than the chromium,
and a detrimental pick-up of carbon would
40 result.
The flow of the cooling liquid 53 is also started
to supply the cooling collar 50, so that operative
temperature equilibrium may be established as
wheel II4 sluices a new set of cores 30 into con
tact with the gate.
With proper timing of associated moving parts.
the feed conveyor will advance the released cores
30 by way of the insulated core pushers 98 en
gaging behind each set of cores into the feed
tube 80 and into the electrode at just the rate
of speed required by the operation of the process
It is to be noted that electrode current is 10
blocked from reaching the feed devices and the -
supporting members through the conductivity of
the sequence of feeding cores, by the insulating
power of the sleeves 98a of the core pushers and
by the insulating effect of the plates I04 under 16
neath the V-shaped bed 99, and by reason of the
insulators placed between the feed tube 80 or
feed collar I05 and its supporting brackets 93a
_ and 94a.
When the furnace and the electrodes are in 20
proper operation carbon monoxide generated in
side the furnace will seek its outlet from the in
terior of the furnace chamber I0 through the
feed tube 80 and countercurrently to the direc
tion of cartridge feed therein, through the holes
800. which are provided for that purpose along
the upper side of the feed tube 80.
With the present method and apparatus for
feeding the reagent in the form of suitably sized
and prepared cores the reagent charge can be 30
accurately closed and timed, so that a reagent
of a desired composition and in a desired solu
tion phase of its constituents will fall in the form
of drippings I9 from the arcing point of the
electrodes onto the bath of molten metal III.
This process is continued until the bath or burden
of molten metal has reached the desired state of
I claim:
1. In an electric furnace, a substantially hori
zontally located hollow electrode, electric con
nections for energizing the electrode, mechanism
for positively feeding a succession of shaped
to the energized electrode when the cores or car
charges to the furnace through the electrode,
tridges 30 of the charge shall have begun to
advance through the feed tube 80 into the elec
and means for rotating the electrode while ener
gized and while having charges fed therethrough
by virtue of which rotation erosion of the elec
trode is discouraged.
trode from the supply of the magazine 82.
While it is feasible to withhold such feed until
a desired time by merely arresting the weighted
arm I32 of the swinging gate frame 83, a con
trolled feed of the cores 30 to the feed conveyor
hollow electrode body substantially cylindrical
85 will be at once established when the arm I32
is released and the cam roller, 126 thereof per
mitted to engage upon the cam faces I24 and
in form, a combined clamping sleeve member
and hollow supporting shaft comprised of a plu
rality of arcuate segments, a sectionalized bear
recesses 525 respectively of the scalloped cam
Through the conveyor shaft 92, the bevel gears
ing for said hollow supporting shaft, means for
pivotally attaching the members of the section
alized bearing together, means for clamping said
lit‘ and l I l, the chain I i5 and starwheel or sluice
gate lit, the feed of the cores 30 is then at once
60 timed at a ?xed rate relative to the movements
of the feed conveyor, and the absolute speed of
the mechanism is controlled by suitable means
shaft, and a substantially horizontally reciproca
ble support on which said sectionalized bearing
is mounted.
3. An electrode operating arrangement accord
wheel I23.
from the main driving chain I 08 and sprocket
Consequently, whenever the cam roller I26
drops from one of the cam faces I24 into a re
cess £25 a core or set of cores 30 which has been
separated by a sector of the star Wheel Ill is
released as the swinging gate 83 tilts up permit
ting the cores to drop over the conveyor chain 85
into charging position upon the V-shaped bed
99. As the mechanism continues the cam roller
I26 will mount again onto one of the cam faces
l24 causing the swinging gate 83 to drop into
75 closing position while simultaneously the star
2. In an electric-arc operated furnace an elec
trode operating arrangement which comprises a 50
members to form a rigid bearing for said hollow
ing to claim 2 in which the sleeve member com
prises a circumferential contact member for sup
plying therethrough the working current for the
electrode, and a flanged end portion, and in which
a gear is provided concentric with and attachable
to said flanged portion for imparting there
through rotation to the electrode body.
4. An electrode operating arrangement accord- "
ing to claim 2 in which the sleeve member is
formed with a ?anged portion at its off furnace
end, an annular contact member interposed be
tween said ?anged portion and said bearing ar
rangement for supplying therethrough the work- 75
ing current for the electrode, and in which a gear
is concentric with and attachable to said ?anged
portion for imparting therethrough rotation to
the electrode body, and in which clamping means
are provided at each side of the bearing arrange
ment for holding the composite sleeve member
, ?xed relative to said electrode body.
5. An electrode operating arrangement accord
smelted by the furnace, means for rotating each
electrode, means for making a continuous elec
trical contact while rotating‘ and reciprocable
wheeled carriage means for'supporting each elec
trode together with its rotating means.
12. An electric furnace according to claim 11,
with the addition of a rail arrangement for sup
porting said carriage means and upon which said
carriage reciprocates.
I ing to claim 2, in which the bearing for the rotat
comprises a centrally located load supporting
sector, and a pair of complementary swingably
movable sectors, each such complementary sector
trode from its co~acting carriage.
14. An electric furnace according to claim 11,
with the addition of a bearing supported from
each said carriage means and reciprocable there
with for rotatably supporting the electrode car
being hinged to one respective side of said sta
15 tionary sector‘, and locking means for closing or
opening said movable sectors.
ried by said carriage.
15. An electric furnace according to claim 11.
6. In an electric-arc operated furnace an elec
trode operating arrangement which comprises a
hollow electrode body substantially horizontally
20 extending and adapted to have fed therethrough
with the addition of means for energizing said
electrodes with said means for at least one of said
electrodes comprising one contact element rotat
material to be charged, a sleeve ?xedly attach
able to and normally surrounding a portion of
said electrode body to provide thereon an ex
ing with said electrode and a coacting contacting ,
element reciprocating with said electrode but not
rotating therewith.
16. An electric ‘furnace according to claim 11,
terior bearing surface, electrode supporting
25 means including a longitudinally sectionalized
bearing shell to have rotatably mounted therein
the electrode by engagement upon said exterior
bearing surface of the sleeved electrode, said
with the addition of a bearing carried by said car
riage means for rotatably supporting the elec
trode of said carriage, means on one side of said
bearing for energizing said electrode comprising
one contactelement rotating with said electrode 30
bearing including a centrally located load sup
80 porting stationary sector, a pair of complemen
tary swingably movable sectors, each of said sec
tors being hinged to one side respectively of said
stationary sector, and locking means for closing
electrode but not rotating therewith, and means
or opening said movable sectors.
electrode and said bearing.
and one contact element reciprocating with said
on the other side of said bearing for cooling said
7. In an electric-arc operated furnace an elec
17. In an electric arc furnace, in combination,
trode operating and charge feedingarrangement
a pair of abutting hollow rotatable energizable
electrodes, means for feeding therethrough formed
charges of material to be smelted by said fur
nace, means for rotating one of said electrodes,
means for reciprocating said electrode, a metallic 40
sleeve element on said electrode, and means for
energizing said sleeve.
18. An electric furnace according to claim 17,
which comprises a bored electrode body substan
tially horizontally extending and adapted to have
fed therethrough material to be charged, a mov
40 able support for the electrode body, means for
rotating said electrode body upon said support,
a feed guide associated with the bore of said elec
trode body, conveying means adapted to handle
a sequence of bodies'of charging material in the
45 form of individual cores, said conveying means
' arranged with respect to said feed guide soas
to introduce said cores there into, a magazine de
13. An electric furnace according to claim 11, 10
with the addition of means for removing an elec
10 able electrode is longitudinally sectionalized and
vice associated with said conveying means for
supplyingv thereto said cores at predetermined
and desired intervals, and timing mechanism for
actuating the supply of cores from said magazine
at a desired rate relative to the rate of the
conveyor movement.
8. In an electric arc furnace, in combination, a
55 pair of substantially horizontal hollow rotatable
electrodes located with abutting ends, means for
energizing said electrodes, means for rotating
said electrodes, and means for impelling through
each electrode in sequence charges of material in
60 the form of briquettes to be smelted by the fur
9. In an electric furnace according to claim 8,
wherein the electrodes are mounted a few degrees
from the horizontal with their inclination being
65 downward toward their are ends.
10. An electric furnace according to claim 8,
with the addition of a reservoir device for holding
a supply of formed charges of material to be
acted upon by one of said electrodes, and means
70 for conveying said charges from said reservoir to
said electrode during rotation of the electrode.
11. In an electric arc furnace, in combination,
a pair of abutting hollow rotatable energizable
electrodes, means‘ for feeding through each elec
76 trode in sequence formed charges of material to be
with the addition of means for removably asso
ciating said electrode with said sleeve.
19. An electric furnace according to claim 17,
with the addition of energizing means for said
electrode and of cooling means with said energiz
ing means and said cooling means carried by said
20. In an electric furnace, a pair of abutting
hollow electrodes, means for feeding therethrough
charges of material to be smelted by the furnace,
means for reciprocating one of said electrodes, a
metallic sleeve element on said electrode, means
for rotating said electrode including a drivable
gear carried by said sleeve element, an energizable
electrical contact element supported from said
sleeve, a cooling device supported from said sleeve,
and a bearing for rotatably supporting said sleeve 60
deriving its support from said reciprocating
21. Apparatus according to clairn 1, in which
the means for permitting the electrode to be ro
tated while energized comprises a bearing mount
ed on a reciprocable carriage for moving the elec
trode longitudinally independently of the rotative
movement of the electrode.
22. In an electric-arc operated furnace, an
electrode operating arrangement which comprises 70
a hollow body substantially cylindrical in form,
a combined clamping sleeve member and hollow
supporting shaft comprised of a plurality of
arcuate segments, a sectionalized bearing for said
hollow supporting shaft, means for pivotally at- ‘(I
taching the members of the sectionalized bear
thereof and with their adjacent ends coactinz.
ing together, means for clamping said members
to forni a rigid bearing for said hollow shaft, a
electrical connections for said electrodes for
effecting an are between the adjacent ends of the
electrodes, a carriage for each 01’ said electrodes,
means for feeding formed charges to and into said 5
electrodes and automatic means for reciprocating
the carriages toward and away from the furnace
substantially horizontally reciprocable support on
which said sectionalized bearing is mounted, and
means for rotating said combined clamping sleeve
and hollow supporting shaft independently of the
reciprocation of the bearing.
23. In an electric-arc operated furnace the
10 combination of a furnace, hollow electrodes ex
tending into the furnace from opposite sides
whereby the spacing apart of the arcing ends of
the electrodes and consequently the power input
to the furnace is controlled.
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